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From New York to Nashville: Atiba Web Designer Jessica Hill

By Jessica Hill – Atiba Senior Web Designer

As a gal who was born and raised in NY, public transportation has always just been a part of my life. I grew up just outside of Manhattan, and I can’t tell you the number of times my mother would tell my sister and I to just take the train if we wanted to get somewhere. I have learned to read just about any bus or subway schedule you can imagine. I know which subway lines are the slowest. I know what a pain it is when you get on a express train or bus by accident and it flies right past your stop. I know what it’s like to fall asleep on the subway heading to Queens, but waking up at the Coney Island stop.

I have also found that many people I know will at some point ask me why I always carry a tote bag with me. My answer is “because I take the bus”. I often carry an umbrella, extra socks, some snacks, bandaids, things like that because I have learned it’s better to be prepared. I also use the tote bags if I have to stop at the grocery store or run errands on the way home. If you have ever had to carry a bunch of heavy plastic bags for more than a block, you will understand why tote bags are so awesome.

Because I had such easy access to public transportation , I never really drove much. I went to college in Philly where I would usually ride my bike, walk, take the train and then take the express bus back to the Port Authority in NY when I would go home to visit. So, again, I just never needed to drive.

When I came to Nashville, I noticed that public transportation was not as widely embraced. And I understand that. It can be a pain. You really have to plan your schedule around it. You have to be willing to wait. Sometimes it is horribly hot outside, other times you are stuck in the rain or freezing cold. But you learn to adapt. It’s actually a skill that has served me well.

But there are a lot of benefits to taking public transportation, or even using apps like Lyft or Uber. The biggest benefit for me is that is helps me actually meet people. I am very lucky to have a career doing what I love, which is web and graphic design. However, this also means I am happy to sit with my headphones in and work. I can easily go days without talking to anyone other than my dog. Public transportation helps me actually interact with people. And I have met some really great folks. Plus, there is a lot of diversity on the bus and it’s great to meet people from other neighborhoods nearby that you may never usually visit.

The other thing I love is that it gives me time to just let my mind wander. It’s nice to sometimes stare out the window, or just take a break from all the other things that are in my head. Sometimes it’s fun just to sit and listen to the many conversations happening. Most of the time, there are some pretty amusing ones going on!

I highly suggest if you have never taken public transportation before that you give it a try. It’s always good to see things from a different perspective. Plus, you won’t have to worry about parking, and who wouldn’t like a break from that?

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